Pakistan to get first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine by Jan 31: Qureshi

  • FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi says “Pakistan held fruitful talks with China with regard to obtaining the coronavirus vaccine”
  • Qureshi praises NCOC for doing a “great job during the pandemic”, lauds COVID-19 patients for courage
  • Adds that China promised to send Pakistan 500,000 doses “in good faith”

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is expected to receive the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine from China by January 31, 2021, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Thursday.

“Pakistan held fruitful talks with China with regard to obtaining the coronavirus vaccine,” Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a media briefing here in the federal capital, praising the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) for doing a “great job during the pandemic”.

“I had a lengthy discussion and spoke of Pakistan’s requirements. Then, Prime Minister Imran Khan advised me to engage in further interaction with them [China] keeping in mind the sensitive situation, time, and Pakistan’s requirements.

“I’m glad to tell you that I had a telephonic conversation with Chinese foreign minister. I wish to give this happy news to the nation that China has promised that, God-willing, it will send Pakistan 500,000 doses of the [coronavirus] vaccine by January 31,” he said, adding that it was an act of “good faith” and that Beijing would send more of it by February 2021.

The foreign minister lauded the COVID-19 patients for their courage in the fight against the deadly virus. “Pakistan successfully fought the coronavirus [pandemic],” he added.

China, Qureshi added, directed Pakistan to “send them our plane and airlift the vaccine; this is good news, a positive development”.